HARRIS, Samuel Ernest

Samuel Ernest Harris, age 94, died peacefully early Friday morning in his home at the Wesleyan Independent Living Center in Georgetown.

Sam was a graduate of Georgetown High School and a proud 1939 graduate of Texas A&M University. He was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Army, and within 30 days of Pearl Harbor, was ordered to report to the 1st Cavalry Division in Ft. Bliss, Texas. The division was ordered to dismount and serve as infantry, where Sam served 4 years in the Southwest Pacific, recalling his most rewarding experience of freeing 3300 civilian prisoners at Santo Tomas. Sam received a Purple Heart serving under General MacArthur, and later retired as a colonel. Sam was active in many community affairs, serving two terms on the Georgetown City Council, and as director of the Chamber of Commerce. He was editor of the Blackland Reporter, as well as the farm editor of the Williamson County Sun. He had many business interests, owning his own insurance agency, working in the banking industry, and eventually settling as a rancher in Burnet, Texas operating a cattle and horse business. He had a special love for horses and possessed a unique ability to work and train them. In 1970, after retirement, Sam found that his saddle did not allow him to sit on a horse in a natural way, so he decided to make his own leather saddle. After 4 attempts, he got it right and made custom saddles for the next 25 years, as well as other leather work including albums, note pads, belts, and pistol holsters. He was known as a “gentleman’s gentleman,” and later in life enjoyed watching Texas A&M football and learning all about his new computer. Sam was a member of The First United Methodist Church in Georgetown. Sam is survived by his wife Mildred Rogers (Pierce) Harris, who loved and adored him for 27 years following their marriage on March 22, 1986.

Sam has two sons, Dr. Dudley Harris, wife Carol, grandson Adam of San Antonio, and Kenneth Harris of Fredericksburg. Sam has one surviving brother, Charles Harris and wife Clarolyn of Fort Worth, and one sister-in-law Norma Harris of Georgetown. He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel B. Harris and Fannie Brady Harris, and brothers James and Jack Harris. Other surviving family members include Miles and Kakie Sawyer of Virginia, Terry and Pris Lester of Georgetown, and Danny and Penny Mickan of Georgetown.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 3:00PM at IOOF Cemetery, Georgetown, Texas. A reception will follow at the home of Penny and Danny Mickan, the family welcomes everyone to come and share your memories of Sam. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Georgetown, the Wesleyan Benevolent Fund, or the charity of your choice . Arrangements and services are under the direction of The Gabriels Funeral Chapel and Crematory.

Published in Austin American-Statesman on January 21, 2013